1914: The Coming of the First World War

Classic Pamphlet

F.R. Bridge, last updated: 12th September 2010

A sudden breakdown in the balance of power

This pamphlet argues that the outbreak of the First World War represented not so much the culmination of a long process started by Bismarck and his successors, as the relatively sudden breakdown of a system that had in fact preserved the peace and contained the dangerous Eastern Question for over a generation. It examines the implications for all the Great Powers of the upheaval that destroyed the balance in South-East Europe after 1912, threatened to destroy the balance in Europe altogether and led the Great Powers into war in the summer of 1914. It also analyses the factors - diplomatic, military, economic, social and domestic-political - that lay behind the decisions of that fateful summer.

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